I searched google, but I do not know what words like "one o'clock", "jack o'lantern", "lily o'the valley" are called.

Does any list exist? The motivation is just out of curiosity. (Reading a lot of Dickens which made me wonder about it.)

Thank you for the answer and time.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

These are called contractions. Others include:

  • cat-o’-nine-tails
  • hop-o’-my-thumb
  • o’er
  • tam-o’-shanter
  • thick o’ fog
  • Tom o’ Bedlam
  • tot-o’er-seas
  • o’ my conscience
  • warpling o’ the green
  • will-o’-the-wisp

This is not a closed set. People make them at the drop o’ their hat.

  • There are also thousands of Irish surnames like this. – James Oct 9 '15 at 22:47
  • That's an impressive list. Where did you find them? – chasly from UK Oct 9 '15 at 22:53
  • Thank you so much! That was fast. As chasly asked, do you have a link for a complete list? – Zeeshan Mahmud Oct 9 '15 at 22:54
  • @chaslyfromUK Perl magic: I merely grepped the OED for \bo'. If you don't restrict it to word boundaries with \b then you get answers that included things like po’boy, which is a type of sandwich, or St Elmo’s fire, which is a will-o’-the-wisp. – tchrist Oct 9 '15 at 23:02
  • Do you have to have a subscription for the OED? Where's the machine-readable text? – chasly from UK Oct 9 '15 at 23:10

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